Saturday, December 17, 2016

Those were the days!

Once, when Bakili Muluzi was Malawi's president, the talk around town was that he never missed a funeral, especially those of his friends.
And Muluzi had the look of someone who swam in such talk; for it made him sail directly into public favour.
And public favour, the way it is programmed, can sway an election in a politician's favour.
That reminds me. Muluzi was a politician. He, therefore, had to win votes by hook or crook.
But, then, there was something real-- something so close to the people-- about that man. The look on his face.
During funerals, Muluzi could really be said to be sad.
And the man had a penchant for remembering faces. Once Muluzi set his eye on you, he could not forget you. It was as if your face was written in his mind.
Except, of course, me!
Whatever I am today, it is because of the UDF News, which took me in as a correspondent as I cut my teeth in journalism.
Well, the pay was not good enough, but the training was worth it.
The late Elson Kasinja [may his soul rest in peace] shaped my writing. Joseph Kayira was always encouraging me. Richard Chinansi was a brother-in-arms. In Edith Malamula I found an inspired female journalist. Of course, Harriet Kachingwe was always there to typeset our work.
Then, there was Levison Lifikiro, the UDF News editor. Lifikiro once worked as one of the editors at Malawi's oldest newspaper, The Daily Times, and took me by the arm whenever I goofed.
At one point, I wrote an article in UDF News about what was public information. Former UDF director of research, Humphreys Mvula, has announced his resignation from the UDF [in this case, United Democratic Front, the party] and I put that in the newspaper.
He came to the office the moment the news was out on the streets. He was angry. He shouted. He asked for Richard Chirombo.
Fortunately, he [Mvula] did not know me in person. So, I came out of our newsroom, to the outside where Mvula was shouting and threatening. Lifikiro patted him on the back, from now and then, but Mvula could have none of it. He wanted to see and meet Richard Chirombo.
I was there, and I shook in the knees.
Well, Lifikiro saved my skin.
A week later, I met Mvula at Tambala Food Products Limited and he picked me from Ginnery Corner, where Tambala Food Products is, to Blantyre Central Business District. I even introduced myself. Mvula was in the company of Tusekere Mwanyongo.
Tell you what Mvula was smiling and we have been smiling at each other ever since.
Bygones, in Mvula's world, are bygones.
But, then...the only sad thing that ever happened to me was that Muluzi once shook everyone's hand at a public place and refused to shake mine. I do not know why!
Those were the days!

Peter Mutharika's Government Wasting Our Time

No need for an example. The statement below suffices:

For immediate release
December 16, 2016
Ministry of Information and Communication 
Private Bag 310
Capital City 
Lilongwe 3


Government would like to express its disappointment in Leader of Opposition Honourable Reverend Lazarus Chakwera’s so-called “State of the Nation Address”. 

We particularly note that Hon Chakwera’s statement reflected more of his own state of mind, his ulterior motives, his political psychology and the nature of his leadership more than the state of the nation.It is a well-known fact that Chakwera does not have the legal grounds for claiming to make a “State of the Nation Address” when he is not a Head of State. 

We feel sorry that Chakwera is suffering political delusions 
of imagining that he is the one ruling this country. These political delusions are caused by the fact that he is living a myth. Chakwera has never accepted that he lost the 2014 Electionbecause he failed to put in place structures across the country.

We also know he is leading a political party that rejected 
democracy and lost the referendum call for multiparty politics in 2003. Since then, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has never embraced democracy. As a result of their anti-democratic ideology, MCP has always rejected the will of the people and any Election results throughout 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. 

In all these Elections, Chakwera’s party has always found an excuse to deny the outcome of the popular vote. You can safely predict that Chakwera’s party will also claim vote rigging once they lose the 2019 Election. We further understand Chakwera’s political psychology and frustration as a result of an abortive mission. We know that Chakwera conspired and colluded with Joyce Banda to frustrate the 2014 Elections. 

Joyce Banda ordered the Malawi Defence Force (who acted 
professionally and refused) to disrupt the Malawi Electoral 
Commission (MEC) tally centre; ordered the MDF (who again 
refused) to stage a coup to take her own Government; and to nullify results by reading sections of the Constitution that do not exist. Malawians will never forget those trying days.

All these abortive political shenanigans were based on the 
deal that President Arthur Peter Mutharika's election had to be 
frustrated for Chakwera to take over from Joyce Banda. 

The underhand agreement was that Chakwera was supposed to take over to protect Joyce Banda from possible Cashgate arrest as she deeply feared Peter Mutharika’s take over. 

We know that the strategy was that Joyce Banda would call for another Election in 90 days. Joyce Banda betrayed this intention herself when she tried to nullify the Election using laws that do not exist. 

Within those 90 days, MCP and People’s Party (PP) would gang up against Peter Mutharika, with Chakwera assured of the support of state resources to win the repeated vote. All this political conspiracy miserably failed. As a result, Chakwera does not believe that he is not ruling this country. His posturing himself as a head of state in his so-called “State of the Nation Address” is also coming from the same political delusion.

In his political dream, Chakwera believes that he needs to be arrested first for him to become a national President. He believes that one cannot lead Malawi without being arrested. In fact, people from inside Chakwera's camp have told us 
that his current strategy is to keep insulting and provoking the 
President so that he can fulfill his dream to be arrested by Government. 

His political dream to be arrested is a strategy to buy public sympathy and divert attention from his embattled leadership in the divided MCP. 

The writing of his infamous statement is part of 
his "Insult and Provoke Strategy". 
We would like to assure him that we are not going to arrest him simply to fulfill his political strategy. If the church housing and corruption scandals he piled up while he was President of his church should get Chakwera arrested, that will be poetic justice on a different course. 

We are happy to see him continue enjoying his democratic freedom of ranting, raving and parroting empty propaganda so that Malawians should judge his lack of political integrity and dignity. 

We are told that even some of his own MCP colleagues are totally embarrassed with him and we are pleased that Chakwera is publicly destroying himself. We totally appreciate that Chakwera deliberately agreed with his party to keep saying everything that President Mutharika is doing should be labelled "empty and failed". 

We know that in his strategy, Chakwera has chosen to be 
blind to all the efforts being pursued in this country. We are pleased to note that there are many Malawians who see the opposite. 

There are many people who appreciate that we have contained the hunger by flooding the country with maize both for the most vulnerable people and those who can buy from ADMARC; we have stabilised the economy and brought it from the ruins of Cashgate; we are building roads and running this 
Government in the absence of budgetary donor aid. Objective Malawians can distinguish our successful efforts to keep this country going from our challenges. 

But if Honourable Chakwera chooses to see emptiness in 
everything, that is his political strategy. If he cannot see development projects in his own constituency including a bitumen Kasiya road by this Government, little wonder he cannot see development anywhere. All we can say is that Malawians are wise and critical enough to judge for themselves. 

We also know that Reverend Chakwera was handpicked from the pulpit because MCP wanted a candidate with 'a godly appearance' (maonekedwe aumulungu) in order to cleanse its haunted image of 30 years of blood shedding, violence and deception. 

That is why Chakwera sidelined the old guards of the party in a desperate attempt to rebrand the party by exploiting the Malawian youths who did not see its blood-bathed political past. This strategy has failed and divided the MCP because new members are failing to work with the old supporters of the party. 

We know that Chakwera is becoming agitated with desperation as a result. 

While we understand Chakwera's desperation, we urge him to respect the Head of State. We also challenge him to rise above hate and jealous to prove to Malawians that he has any integrity of leadership. 

Respect for our Head of State is respect for our country.